The Imitarium – Creativeworks London
Creativeworks London is one of four Knowledge Exchange Hubs for the Creative Economy funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). This production, a creative collaboration between Steve Wade, Creative Exchange at Lancaster University and Creativeworks London, was presented at the Arts and Humanities Research Council Creative Economy Showcase event in London (March 2014).
The Imitarium was designed and created by Steve Wade.
About the piece:
When our colleagues at Creative Exchange invited us to contribute material for Steven Wade’s Imitarium, we were excited by the creative potential of the technology; here was a viewing experience in which a tiny, three-dimensional figure – holographic, ghost-like – could interact with a short film: new technologies interacting with old: the future reaching back into the past. Our presentation for the Imitarium explores ideas of time, memory, and the immeasurable poignancy of the present moment.
Samuel Beckett’s poem ‘Serena 1’ is an account of a walking journey through London. We chose to accompany the poem with old film footage of the city, not as an illustration, but rather as a response to the thoughts and images of the poem. As we put the footage together, the character of an old man full of memories began to emerge. The woman in the hologram is a counterpoint to him; perhaps she is his mother, perhaps his lover. She follows her own pathway through the poem, expressing her own relationship to the film, and to the viewer. Looking out at us with a haunting gaze, she challenges us to follow her through time, into memory.
Our presentation showcases the work of several of Creativeworks London’s partners. The dancer, Lucy Dundon, is from Trinity Laban. The narrator, Professor Ian Christie, is from Birkbeck. The film footage is from two DVDs, published by the BFI and Birkbeck. The director and producer – Sinéad O’Neill and Jana Riedel – are part of the core Creativeworks London team. We hope you enjoy the fruits of our collaboration!